Performing routine dental prophylactic cleanings help prevent the development of dental disease that can lead to pain and affect overall health. This consists of placing the pet under general anesthesia and using an ultrasonic scaler to clean the teeth and then polish. During a dental cleaning, a full evaluation of the mouth is performed, which includes measurement of pockets developing around the roots of all teeth.
- If mobility, pocketing, or root exposure is noticed our doctors may recommend dental x-rays and extractions, as these can indicate an unhealthy tooth.
To ensure maximum oral health we also recommend you begin one or more of the following:
- Brushing with soft bristle toothbrush and enzymatic toothpaste every 1-2 days.
- Oral Rinsing with Chlorhexidine solutions (C.E.T. Rinse) is acceptable, although not as effective as brushing.
- CET Aquadent added to the drinking water daily is formulated to freshen your pet’s breath and prevent plaque accumulation when used in conjunction with a regular home dental care program.
- CET dental chews have been formulated and tested to help decrease the accumulation of plaque on your pet’s teeth.
How to brush your pet’s teeth:
Buy a dog-safe enzymatic toothpaste and a soft-bristle, long-handled toothbrush.
- STEP 1: Put the toothpaste on your finger and allow your dog to lick it, then rub it over the gums and teeth to get them used to the sensation.
- STEP 2: Put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and allow your dog to lick it, then begin to brush their teeth. If your pet pulls away, let them settle and provide treats to keep the experience positive. Continue brushing – use circular motions with minimal pressure.
- STEP 3: Wipe off their mouth from any excess toothpaste and provide treats as a reward for your pet after toothbrushing.
Levels of Dental Disease
Dental disease is graded from 1 – 4, the higher the number the worse it is. Grade 1 indicates mild plaque and tartar buildup, grade 4 being the worst that usually involves the extraction of teeth. Continual accumulation of plaque and tartar causes pressure and inflammation of the gum tissue and the mouth becomes a source of infection for other body tissues.
Grade 1 – mild plaque and tartar, easily cleaned off during a dental prophylaxis
Grade 2 – mild to moderate plaque and tartar, gingivitis can occur
Grade 3 – moderate tartar, may begin to see signs of tooth mobility and pocketing, extractions may be recommended
Grade 4 – severe tartar, teeth may fall out due to loss of bony attachment, can see tooth root abscesses, may see pus/infection, inflammation, and pain; extractions likely recommended
Tooth root abscess – infections can develop at the base of a tooth with dental disease. These infections, if left to progress, can eventually form draining tracts around the mouth and sometimes near the eyes.
Attrition/Abrasion — Teeth that appear worn down can be due to inappropriate tooth on tooth wear or toys. Tennis balls present a common cause for worn down teeth as the surface is coarse like sandpaper. Slowly worn down teeth can develop a protective layer over the pulp cavity called tertiary dentin that is brown in appearance. If wear is extensive or the pulp cavity is exposed extractions may be recommended.
Tooth fractures – if a tooth is fractured to the point that the pulp cavity is exposed it is recommended to remove the tooth as the pulp cavity exposure can predispose it to pain and infection.
Retained Deciduous (Baby) Teeth — Puppies can sometimes retain their puppy teeth. If these do not fall out they can lead to the build-up of dental tartar and cause dental disease. Our doctors normally recommend extraction of the retained puppy teeth at the time of spay or neuter.
Dental Consent Form
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